Unique Wines Earn Packaging Design Awards

California Wines Win Packaging Design Awards for Innovation

By Laurie Greene, Editor 

 

Some interesting smaller California wineries won special awards during the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference last month in Yountville, California, but not for the quality of their wine. It was all about what contained the wine—the packaging.

 

Jim Gordon, editor of Wines & Vines magazine that sponsored the awards, said, “One of the most interesting developments these days is the proliferation of different wine packaging types and designs. We decided to get a handle on that by starting the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards a couple of years ago.”

 

Out of 135 vintner and supplier entries from North American wineries, five wine packaging designs convinced a panel of five experts that they have what it takes to sway consumers to stop in the wine aisle to give the product a closer look. Packages were judged on their creativity, visual appeal, design functionality, appropriateness for the price segment and the package’s ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

 

Each package entered contained wine, was filled between Aug. 1, 2014, and July 31, 2016, and is currently available or was available to the general public between those dates. Submissions included wine boxes, wine bottles, wine bags or cans.

Wines & Vines 2016 Packaging Design Awards Winners (Source: Wines & Vines)
Wines & Vines 2016 Packaging Design Awards Winners (Source: Wines & Vines)

The winners of the 2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards are:

Supplier Contest

Most Outstanding Package–Supplier 

Stranger & Stranger’s design of Run Riot Pinot Noir

Run Riot, a Treasury Wine Estates brand created by Stranger & Stranger, an international design firm, is a “critter” brand with a purpose and a story about a wild boar that rampages through the vineyard. The wine label includes a fascinating die-cut and graphic.

Most Innovative Package–Supplier 

Quest Industries’ “masked spray” on a bottle of Reed Wine Cellars’ 2011 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon

The bottle exterior is spray-coated in a unique process on the upper half in dark red.

 

Winery Contest

People’s Choice Most Innovative Package

One87 Wine & Cocktails’ single-serving plastic wine “glass” and “stem”

Designed by OGW/France, this single-serve container is a PET plastic, BPA-free vessel, 100% recyclable with a smooth glass-like rim and a guaranteed shelf life of 12 or more months.

 

Most Innovative Package–Winery

Rubin Wines’ Q&A brand packaging

A traditional bottle as well as a box wine was recognized for its large graphics. Each bottle of this new brand, known as “Q & A,” included sets of questions and answers that differed from bottle to bottle.

 

People’s Choice Most Outstanding Package

Wooden Bottle Wine Co.’s 2009 Pinot Noir

This wine was actually in a lathe wooden bottle designed and patented by owner Marcos Oliver crafted entirely of wood from the Thai rubber trees, lined with an FDA-approved, non-toxic product that protects the wine from wood and oxygen infusion.


Featured Photo: Wooden Bottle Wine Co.’s 2009 Pinot Noir, courtesy of Wines & Vines magazine.


Resources:

2016 Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards

5 wine packaging designs win awards in Napa

Wine Packaging Design Awards Expand

Wooden and Plastic Wine Packages Win

Winegrape Cultural Practices Go Mechanical

Winegrape Cultural Practices Must Go Mechanical for Sustainability

By Emily McKay Johnson, Associate Editor

 

Higher wages handed down by the California Legislature are driving California winegrape growers to mechanize many farming operations. Doug Beckgeographic information systems (GIS) specialist and agronomist for Monterey Pacific Incorporated who works with winegrowers in the Salinas Valley, commented, “We don’t have the people; that’s the main problem. We can put bodies out in the field, but we can’t get the work done the way it needs to be done, at the time it needs to be done,” he said.

Mechanical Box Pruning on Winegrapes
Mechanical Box Pruning on Winegrapes

 

So the industry has no choice but to go mechanical on pruning, leafing as well as harvesting. Beck explained pruning has been tough to mechanize. “We’re basically just trying to do a system that is pruned by a tractor, creating a box head that self-regulates—it sets the amount of crop it needs and grows the size canopy it needs in order to balance that vine, produce good quality grapes and produce enough to be economically viable,” noted Beck.

 

Economic viability—profit—is critical, according to Beck. “In fact, it is true sustainability. Otherwise we’re not in business,” he said.

 

Mechanical pruning essentially creates a hedge every year. Beck explained, “Typically we have pruning spurs that have two buds or three buds, a hand space apart, coming off that cordon that we cut by hand. Instead of just having spurs, we let that grow into a box, and the mechanical pruner cuts along the sides and then across the top of the vine in one pass,” Beck explained. “It looks basically like a long box,” he said.

 

Beck has discovered that mechanical pruning into a box shape on the trellis wires, “works across all varieties we’ve tried. We’re definitely in a cool area for grape production,” Beck said, “so those are the kind of grapes that we’re growing: Pinot Noir, Grenache, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris, along with some Cabernet.”

 

Beck said that winegrape vineyards have a lot of vigor in the Salinas Valley. “You also have big crops, which may also require some shoot or crop thinning. You have to come up with other machines to do the rest of the operations that they usually do by hand.”

 

“The mechanical process appears to be working well because growers are seeing a bump in yield of 30 to 50 percent,” Beck commented, “and they are saving about $1,000 per acre. Economically, it makes a lot of sense.”

 

“Quality is definitely acceptable. It’s as good as any other trellis system we have out there. Quality comes from vine balance and fruit exposure to light, and that box prune system accomplishes both,” said Beck.